No one likes going to the doctor, but it’s necessary to keep yourself and your loved ones safe—and our four-legged friends are no different!
Here at CVCA, our team is all about keeping your pets healthy, especially cats. We see a lot of congestive heart failure in cats, but there are so many little things you can do for your pet before they get to that stage. The best part? Doing these ten things for your cat regularly can help keep them healthier for longer, and you can possibly even avoid many common health problems in cats.
Keep Them Active Mentally and Physically
Does it feel like all your cat does is eat and sleep? While your cat most likely sleeps anywhere between 12 and 16 hours a day, it doesn’t mean they should be skimping on exercise!
Making sure your kitties have daily playtime is essential in keeping them healthy as they age. Whether that means trying to get a treat out of a puzzle toy or chasing a laser up and down the hallway, your cat’s mental and physical health will be better for regular exercise.
Consider Their Food
It’s not common knowledge, but most dry cat foods are usually full of too many carbs for your pet. Cats are meat-eaters, and too many carbs can lead to obesity. This can cause other health problems like thyroid disease, high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure in cats.
Make sure you’re giving your cat a good balance of dry and wet food. Wet food contains the moisture and protein that cats need to stay healthy, while high-quality dry food can help keep their teeth healthy!
Get Regular Vet Checkups
Most of our furry friends have a hard time telling us when something is wrong, but this is especially true with felines. It’s not uncommon for cats to have completely normal behavior but still have underlying health issues.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure you schedule an annual checkup for your cats so you can catch any potential health problems as early as possible. Your cat may have nine lives, but let’s give them the healthiest lives we can!
Monitor Their Litter Box
The earliest signs of health issues in your cat can be learned from their litter box. Whether that means there’s less urine than average, they’re defecating outside of the box, or not using it all—it may be a sign there’s something amiss with your cat.
It’s also an important rule to remember that you should have one litter box for every cat in your house, plus one. So if you have three cats, you should have four litter boxes in various areas of your home so each feline can have a space to do their business.
Give Them a Scratching Post
Are you tired of your cat clawing at furniture or maybe even your leg? It may be time to invest in a high-quality scratching post for your four-legged friend.
Scratching posts are an excellent tool for helping your cat file down their claws. They’re also great for keeping cats from destroying your furniture. If your cat has never had a scratching post, try sprinkling one with some catnip or getting one that has some interesting string toys attached to it.
Brush Them Daily
Whenever your favorite feline isn’t taking a nap or pestering you for food, you’ll likely catch them continually grooming themselves. Self-grooming is very normal cat behavior. But you can actually help your cat’s health if you give them an extra hand.
Brushing your cat daily can significantly reduce the amount of hair your pet ingests, which causes them to regurgitate hairballs. It also helps lift dead skin cells, keeping their fur shiny and healthy. Plus, most cats love it and see it as a great bonding time with you!
Spay or Neuter Them
There are hundreds of thousands of unwanted cats and kittens that sit in animal shelters and roam the streets every day. Getting your pet fixed ensures none of your cats are adding to that population. Spaying or neutering is also healthier for them.
When a female cat goes into heat, it can be pretty uncomfortable for them, so getting your female cat spayed can help with those problems. Likewise, neutering your male cat can keep potential fights from breaking out and improve the overall energy of your indoor cats.
Monitor Their Water Intake
Unlike dogs, cats do not have the same thirst-drive that causes them to drink an excessive amount of water. In fact, in the wild, most cats get their water intake from the food they eat!
As we mentioned earlier, dry cat food contains a lot of carbs, but it also does not have high water content. Feeding your cat a good balance of wet food will help with that water intake to keep them healthy. Also, make sure to always have a large, fresh bowl of water out—or a pet fountain—for those times they need a little sip.
Provide Them Plenty of Space
If you have a large house with one cat, your kitty likely has plenty of space to stretch out, explore, and hide from loud noises. But if you have two or three cats in a tiny apartment, things may start to get heated.
As a cat owner, you likely already know that your cat likes their own space and quiet time. But if you’re short on space, try adding a cat tower, a few cat shelves, or even a few soft cubby-holes for them to escape to. Giving your cats plenty of options will help reduce their stress and make them much happier in the long run!
Show Them You Love Them
Cats may not show affection in the same way as other furry friends, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want your love and affection.
Every cat is different, but make sure you show them all of the love, affection, and attention that they want and deserve. Whether that means tossing a toy mouse back and forth or cuddling on the couch, sharing that kind of bond with your cat will only make both of you happier.